Saturday, March 13, 2010


After Joel McVie

Back in the days when very few pinoy gay bloggers write in cyberspace, he was already a torch bearer inspiring others to put up their blogs. His presence already graced the scene when I decided to connect beyond the tropa. His blog was one of my first links, and under the cover of anonymity, I consumed his stories and learned many things about my sexual preference. I remember his entries about his dad, and how he learned to accept his April Fool's passing; I knew his struggles as a theater actor and how it shaped his sexuality; I learned life before cyber hook-ups and how Circle became a cruising ground; Finally, his bathhouse escapades became my comparison when I decided to explore its promiscuous corridors.

In the blogs, McVie and I expressed our fondness for Malate and ThirdSexintheCity. Those were the early threads that got us connected. Malate was already a place of refuge, and to learn of a fellow blogger who's also into clubbing felt like having an extended party when my cabal left. As for ThirdSexintheCity, Badinggerzie was the other voice inside my head. I don't know how the author profoundly affected McVie, but much of the lingo I speak now comes from Melch.

McVie and I first met at our usual dancing ground. He was at BED at the time I decided to go party. In those days, going solo was very tempting. I had a partner but my relationship was turning sour. Desperate for company, I searched for a familiar face. Recognizing McVie through his avatar, I approached him without second thought. I'm one of the first to quip the line, "Are you McVie the blogger?" which he nodded affirmatively. That was before his fame became interstellar. Though our first meeting was purely accidental, the encounter cemented our friendship which would grow as time passed.

He would have another calling when gay blogs experienced a sudden bloom. Respected and admired for his wisdom, he became a pillar of what would become the Fabcasters. I know little about their beginnings except for the audio Fabcast, which I heard nothing due to my dial-up connection. But the house parties I attended was the reason I got acquainted with bloggers I haven't read before.

Much has changed at the onset of New Year. I heard less and less from the Fabcasters, while readers who once followed them have now established their own cliques. These were based from my observation. Distance shrouds my new blog and I have shied away from the scene. Nevertheless as someone who had to delete an old life just to hide from a past, and not tell everyone of my sudden exodus,

There is no denial, some connections were carelessly severed.

"Happy Birthday Joel!"

"Oh you're here!! Thank you!" An exchange of hugs reaffirmed our bonds.

"I know you will be coming and I'd like to personally greet you on your birthday!"

No words have ever escaped beyond the enclosed chambers of my cyberspace. While well-wishes from friends and fans came left and right - in Twitter and the Mcvie Show, I was too busy performing my ceaseless self-immolation. McVie and I have divergent views, and in some cases these differences lead to an exchange of opinions in comment boxes. Perhaps this is the reason why our official connection can be best described as subterranean. Yet I recognize him as a figurehead: a shining beacon guiding new generations toward becoming a proud gay man. Looking at how he shaped my past - in ways I only get to realize now - his contribution as a person, a blogger and a Fabcaster, may have been overlooked. Much of my presence in the gay circles is attributed to him. And in a time when many bloggers are leaving their spaces and cease sharing their stories, those of us remaining must ensure our collective voices remain heard.

It's time to renew old bonds.

The night-out went through after a brief stop-over at work. Deciding to round up my scorpions, I chose not to go solo. Sources tell of bloggers converging at BED. In order to distract myself - much as to focus my attention on gaining friends, I showed up unsure if people would welcome my presence.

His friends were all too gracious to have me around.

It's been a year after seeing Tristan. As we all know, he is based abroad and is now living a very fabulous life. Carrie, a long-time reader was there. His warm and gentle nature runs opposite to the sleazy themes he often writes in his blog. Londonboy, a blogger I've already known in the past was also present. No words of appreciation could fill my gratitude after expressing his concern when I appeared exhausted.

The night wore on and people were having a blast. We huddled and dance together in a corner, amidst my temptation to hunt alone. Habits prevailed eventually - and those who have seen me first had a good picture of what I write in blog. I mounted the ledge and danced with a partner - who turns out as someone I abandoned the last time I was in BED.

"Ang dumi-dumi mo talaga," Tristan bantered after returning to the group.

"Wala pa yan sa kaya kong gawin!" I replied while trading glances with someone I'd love to flirt.

The party was extended until early morning when Kane and his clique invited us at O-Bar. Those from our side, especially Tristan and McVie had a taste of how wild people could get in my home turf. There, I found a twink partner who subtly hinted his attraction. He would dance close and put his hands around my waist. However, he would never make his possession clear.

A lover or a client must be watching.


Citizens of Malate know to exercise restraint when going to BED. I don't know much about the place nowadays - except that it's big, it's less crowded and it plays less upbeat house music. But its notoriety for being pretentious is well-known. I've seen guys looking at me from hair to shoes before setting their sights at another person. I too followed their lead and sometimes even exported the habit elsewhere. At O however, most rules get bended. As a result, the merrymakers we brought were more open to express their feelings. One shouted "Bottom ako!" "Bottom ako!!" after telling him the presence of more tops from bottoms at the bar.

Two bloggers made-out in the dark.

Daybreak came and people started leaving. McVie and his gang decided to call it a night, while I chose to linger enough to play a little longer. Meanwhile, Kane made friends with a couple of hot guys I'd dare not approach. His boldness now cemented in my consciousness, I'd never contest the dance-floor from him again.

A blackout abruptly cut the party at half past four. Must be the power shortage happening across the country. People left the bars in droves, while I remain too stunned to even go home. A hunky masseur offered his services while having a smoke at the corner of Orosa. I declined. Power was restored shortly before five. I saw Kane flirting with a semikal basketball player who's a regular attraction at O, while Mister E, wasted and on the verge of passing out before the lights went off, was nowhere in sight.

That's when exhaustion came in.

Walking towards Silya, I saw McVie, Carrie and the rest having their breakfast. I stayed for a few minutes and listened to Tristan sharing his adventures in DC.

"Are you kidding me?" He said while recounting an encounter with a black guy.

"What's the problem?" The black guy asked.

"Well, I have to get an operation should you insert that thing." He was referring to his sex partner's "parang braso ng bata" wiener.

I would love to stay longer and listen to Tristan's naughty tales. But its way past bedtime and I need to get some rest. Bidding the group goodbye, I hailed a cab and directed the driver home.


iurico said...

aw shucks! I was on board a plane at that time na. Sayang! Haha

london boy said...

hey galen!

it was great to have finally met you.

you were so nice, checking from time to time if i was still ok.

till next time!

Herbs D. said...


oooh how I wish I was there for you to teach me 'em gogo moves daddy.

joelmcvie said...



Really, you do me too much credit. Your blogs (the deleted ones as well) were also shiny beacons to the growing gay online presence. Also, the level of your writing remains a standard with which others will be measured against.

But ultimately, I think the main reason why people still follow our blogs is because we continue to post regularly.

~Carrie~ said...

Nice tribute to McVie. :-)

bunwich said...

oh, how i miss malate. but no. i won't

Tristan Tan said...

I've been to Malate countless of times but, I have never really enjoyed myself more until that night - when I finally found the courage (and friends) to experience O firsthand. There, was a different culture - it was soooo much fun; very little of the very pretentious snobbish gay attitude ever so present in Bed - not that this has ever hindered me from making landi. LOL. And, of course, that wonderful concoction, Tanduay Ice, helped, too.

May kwento din ako dyan pero later na ah...

@McVie ang bongga ng party nyo ni Ian! :)